Flying in the post-9/11 US without ID

September 11, 2006 23:32 by keithkaragan

A guy determined to assert his rights and unafraid of the consequences tests the limits and legitimacy of US airport security proceedures and finds some interesting facts
From: http://www.lookingglassnews.org/printerfriendly.php?storyid=7040
Excerpt:

In the last two years, everyone flying on a commercial airline has stepped up to an airline's ticket counter and heard the agent recite a familiar litany. The monologue goes, 'has your bag been unattended; have you accepted gifts from a stranger; can I see your identification please?' The traveler docilely murmurs answers, and produces a driver's license or some equivalent.
As a die-hard Constitutionalist, I believe that we still have an absolute, unfettered, God-given right to travel from point A to point B without permission from the state -- in the air, as well as on land. This Nazi procedure of "your papers, please" has never been appropriate for our country. I have had occasion to travel a good deal in the last several months, and on those trips I decided to research and test this issue about the necessity for producing identification. I have talked with agents, and their supervisors, of several major airlines in cities across America, and have gradually pieced together a rather complete picture of the real legal situation regarding our right to travel."
"...I understand Delta Airline is facing two large lawsuits because employees twice denied this reality, and actually twice kept off a plane a passenger who had only private ID to show. Anyone want to own an airline, courtesy of a judge? I have personally flown Delta with only a private travel card, so I guess they already had their hand slapped."

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The Source

August 15, 2006 21:00 by keithkaragan
Sometimes I truly forget what I put into my NetFlix queue until I'm surprised by what shows up. This time it's The Source - 1999 by Chuck Workman. A fun and informative romp through the icons of the Beat Generation. If you happen to be a fan of the Beats, dive in! great fun, daddy-o.
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SHAME! Veteran's Wiccan Religious Symbol Not Allowed on his Grave Marker

March 30, 2006 15:34 by keithkaragan
I found this article (via boing-boing) recanting the story of Nevada National Guard Sgt. Patrick Stewart whom died when he was in was shot down in Afghanistan in September. He's a Wiccan and although his dogtags stated this as his religion and contained a pentacle symbol, the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada fails to recognize that American service personnel are as free as the public to practice any (or no) religion, and have that denoted on their tombstones - especially when they are killed and buried in a veterans' cemetery. This is truly a disgraceful act on the Veterans' Administration's part.
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SHAME! Veteran's Wiccan Religious Symbol Not Allowed on his Grave Marker

March 4, 2006 21:00 by keithkaragan
I found this article (via boing-boing) recanting the story of Nevada National Guard Sgt. Patrick Stewart whom died when he was in was shot down in Afghanistan in September. He's a Wiccan and although his dogtags stated this as his religion and contained a pentacle symbol, the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada fails to recognize that American service personnel are as free as the public to practice any (or no) religion, and have that denoted on their tombstones - especially when they are killed and buried in a veterans' cemetery. This is truly a disgraceful act on the Veterans' Administration's part.
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Sequel to What the Bleep Coming Soon

February 22, 2006 21:00 by keithkaragan
Sequel to What the Bleep Coming Soon
Many of us have already watched and re-watched the first movie "What the bleep do we know"....Well now you have something to look forward to. "Down the Rabbit Hole" is to be released on Feb 17th Click here to check out video previews. What the bleep has really done an extraordinary job of bringing quantum theory into the livingrooms of the mainstream.
If you saw and enjoyed the 'What the Bleep...' movie an dug it, definately check out the trailers to the new one - looks really cool. There is significant debate over the legitimacy of the first movie based upon the participant and some of the claims. I really enjoyed the content of the movie, less the animation and all, and found it very interesting. I do have some concerns over the involvement of Ramtha Organization in the funding and support of the film (see wikipedia ).
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NYC Subway Strike

December 23, 2005 02:00 by keithkaragan
While my views on unions are no secret, and you may disagree with my pro-union slant, consider the following in light of the short TWU strike against the NY MTA:
  • The media blitz of by the NYC governement and NY State government was overwhelming. Every mainstream media outlet basically villified the TWU even before the strike occured. The only outlets from which a 'pro' stance was present in the media (that I heard or saw) were callers into WNYC and on WBAI (big surprise). Considering that I'm hardly the only one that supports labor, and their right to stike, in the greater NY tri-state area its pretty clear that there was no interest in a balanced discussion of the issue.
  • Although the strike has ended, the issues still remain. I hope that Mr. Toussaint's gusto hasn't wained in the character assasination and threats he faced. This episode will either be a small victory for labor or yet another labor union crushed by the union of big business and government in the US.
  • The roll of the worker (every type of collar) has significantly changed in today's employment market. Every worker can stand up and speak for themselves, and those who are in most demand may fare well in this climate - but who will stand for those who's effort has been commoditized in the workforce when all the unions are crushed? Do we want to re-live the formation of labor unions in the US all over again in 25 years time? What condition will the poor and working class be in by that time? Good paying jobs with benefits and security are needed to keep us afloat. If health care and pensions/retirement plans are the biggest issues business faces in this market, then why aren't they lobbying for reform that will solve the problem instead of bankrupting the workforce?
  • It takes two to tango, or so they say. So why wasn't the MTA held accountable for being flexible in the negotiations with the TWU. If both parties were held to the same level of economic incentives to come to an agreement, wouldn't this issue have been resolved and a contract put in place without the need for a strike, or within hours of it? What is those fines kicked in at the time the contract expired? Would a stike have happened at all?
  • Labor unions in the US have a MAJOR public relations problem. Through scandals and negative press many folks see them as corrupt and sometimes criminal. Majoor reforms in union leadership have happened, and the unions need to get the message of what they do and why they matter out to the public, not only to the congress via their lobbyists.
  • The NYC government may have made matters worse by enacting some of the plans they had put in play to combat chaos in transportation in the city. If nothing else, these measures surely made terriffic headlines with the previously mentioned media outlets, but were they necessary in the manner implemented or were they extreme?

I'd love to know how many of the people that are the most critical of unions and the TWU in particular are the offspring, brother, sister, mother, or father of a union member. How many went to college on the earnings of somone whose wages were of a livable wage because of a union. There is more to consider than just inconvienience during the strike.
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Labor matters

December 23, 2005 01:30 by keithkaragan

Labor matters, it matters more and more every time another union is broken. Every time another working class person is laid-off, has their salary cut, or health care costs increased, or hours cut. It matters every time another big box store has a shirt made by a child in a third world country. Every time a person takes a second job to make ends meet. Every time bankruptcy laws are changed. Every time credit card interest rates go up. Every time congress passes a bill that puts special interests ahead of the interests of the people.


 

Labor matters to truck your food, stop crime, teach your kids, deliver the mail, let the call go through, and transport you to your destination.


 

Labor matters for fair pay, the right to grow old without starvation, and fair treatment on the job. Labor matters because it unites the voices of the many against the profit of the few.

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Another Casualty in the Campaign of Fear and Repression?

December 9, 2005 00:30 by Admin
A 44 year old home center paint department worker returning home from a trip to Ecuador is gunned down in a Miami airport by Federal Air Marshals after having some kind of break down and mentioning he had a bomb in his backpack. We all saw this story all over the news. The man, Rigoberto Alpizar, was accompanied by his wife who apparently tried in vain to make it known that her husband suffered from mental illness and was off his medication. He never brandished a weapon, was off the plane when killed, and had passed though airport security and US customs prior to the incident.
The officer followed protocol, the administration is supporting his actions as such - but what of this protocol? What about reason entering the equation and making a judgment to not kill without justification? If Mr. Alpizar had a bomb, would his killing have prevented it from being detonated? If his intent was to blow up the plane, why would he have left the plane? and so on ...
Are we in such a state of perpetual terror that every mentally ill person, or anyone unable to communicate clearly will be in danger of being murdered if what they say appears to be threatening to someone else? This is a very disturbing situation. I have compassion for Mrs. Alpizar having to suffer the loss of her husband, and having to witness his demise, but my bigger concern is that this incident is an indication of a much more dangerous and serious cultural change in the way Americans live day to day. We submit to inspection on demand, show papers when ordered, are gunned down at will, and seem all too willing to do away with our remaining rights in order to 'feel' safer. In this zeal for safety we can't look past ourself to 'feel' what we're losing, what we've lost, and what we are giving away day by day. Where are the days where we, as a community, try to care and protect those who are suffering from mental distress from themselves and the wrath of others by making them safe.
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Woman Arrested for Not Producing ID on Demand While Riding Bus

November 25, 2005 21:00 by keithkaragan

from: http://papersplease.org/davis/ 


" Meet Deborah Davis. She's a 50 year-old mother of four who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her kids are all grown-up: her middle son is a soldier fighting in Iraq. She leads an ordinary, middle class life. You probably never would have heard of Deb Davis if it weren't for her belief in the U.S. Constitution.
 One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "papers" whenever a cop demands them. "


The ACLU is representing her in the case. I noted during the 'Runaway Bride' incident how an overlooked issue is the right to travel freely in America, and this is but another example of the same. On a public bus the citizen has the legitimate expectation of privacy regardless of where this bus travels through. This wasn't a one time thing, rather a daily occurance because this bus enters a Federal office park - that has sinage indicating 'public welcome', apparently not.
Today everyone from the police to the bank, to the register clerk at any random retail store thinks they have the right to your personal information. They don't and we shouldn't give it up. In commerce situations the merchant gains from this information, what do we gain? In Ms. Davis' situation what is the benefit? and to whom? Did the officer use the information in order to look for cheats, for terrorists, for fugitives? no... What would be done if a passenger did not have identification? Are they automatically a suspected criminal? Would they have been arrested too, or was it the arrogance of Ms. Davis' refusal to present her ID that was threatening to the officers? It will be interesting to see if this comes down to abuse of power by these individuals involved, or public policy that is misrepresenting the authority of the police.

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The Money Masters

November 17, 2005 01:30 by keithkaragan
After some hounding I finally watched the documentary: The Money Masters: How International Bankers Gained Control of America. (you can find it in the Internet Archive @ http://www.archive.org/details/MoneyMasters). Produced in 1996 by Bill Still and Pat SJ Carmack, the film is over 3 hours long and is fairly dry in it's delivery - nonetheless, it's difficult to stop watching it.
The premise of the film is that the practice of fractional lending and centralized control over the international banking system by a few ultra elite puts the American public (among others) into economic slavery, as these institutions can (and do) control the economic cycles to further their own power and economic interests - and significant economic and human cost to everyone else. Mr. Still proposes actions, at the conclusion of the film, that he believes will free us from the control of these powerful interests.
I looked around the internet for information regarding the film, it's creators, and looked for opinions regarding the subject matter. There is significant information regarding the banking system, with both proponents and opponents (naturally), but very little information about Mr. Still and Mr. Carmack. There is a sort-of grass roots following to the film, and there are quite a few websites that have links to the site where one can buy the video, and some text snipped from the site regarding the film. The little opinion I came across was mostly positive (although there are also several vocal detractors) and was voiced from such diverse milieus as leftist groups, marijuana legalization advocates, 911 conspiracy groups, and white supremacist groups. Quite a cross section.
I'm not certain, at this point, what the information presented means to me personally - and how it will affect my political viewpoint regarding this subject - it's just too soon to tell. The historical aspects of the film are very compelling for me personally, and I found it very interesting and extremely disturbing from the perspective of liberty and freedom.
Mr. Still proposes a change from money issues by the Federal Reserve Bank that is not based on collateral (known as fiat currency) to one that is still based on nothing, but is issued by the government - and relieves the government from the interest paid on such money. Of the detractors I found, this seems to be a common point that they disagree with - they tend to support a collateralized system. In the film, several points in time of US history where this banking system was successfully opposed by the administration were highlighted - and I saw some similarities in the philosophies and results of those presidents with Bill Clinton. Later, in reading some other information online about the film, and mentioned later in the film as well, references to Clinton's mentor as having positions opposed to the banks influence in the economy lead me to believe that this may have indeed been a pillar of what Clinton was trying to achieve (and did in so much as reducing the national debt, if only until the current administration reversed this). Of course, in 1996 the realization of Clinton's effect had yet to happen. Reflection on the Bush family's participation in banking in the early part of the 20th century may also indicate where their allegiances lay, especially in light of both Bush administrations willingness to go to war, and to increase national debt.
Another thought I have in regard to the films points is in the vein of 'real' money - gold, silver, etc. - Is oil a sufficient (or even more valuable) collateral in the 21st century? Oil is a resource that is dwindling, and becoming more valuable over time. It's not as timeless as gold, but countries that have oil certainly have the ability to derive great 'real' wealth from this resource, and as we see in the middle east, Venezuela, and other oil producers - these countries appear to be more able to free themselves from the influence of the international banking interests - at least on the surface, it would be interesting to know how in debt these counties are in comparison to the US - and are any of the international militarism and terrorism actions currently in play being funded in order to bring these nations into the central bank's scope, as is documented in the film for the European counties and the US.
Without a doubt I take the information presented as a call to arms for me to personally divest from the debt cycle and think of what financial instruments are available outside of this milieu, and how accessible they are to me as an individual. If nothing else presented in the film is true other than the influence on the creation of booms and busts in the economy, I'm seriously concerned and disturbed about my economic future being at risk throughout the remainder of my life - retirement funds, college funds, savings, etc ...
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